Sunday Salon {4/15/2012}

The biggest news of the week is that I’ve started to run/jog. I’ve only been going for the past ten days and I could barely go an entire minute without loosing my breath. But I was clearly just not trying hard enough, because a week into it, I made it an entire mile without walking. This is big for me! Even though I only made it at 4 mph, I never really thought I’d be able to go a mile. Oh, but you know what’s been best? I’ve lost 3.5 pounds the past week and a half (helped by eating a bit better, too).

My younger sister had her second bridal shower yesterday. Her wedding is in three weeks. (I started running so I could get in some sort of shape by then 🙂 ) I get to do a reading for the wedding.

In other news, Nick and I got our new couch and chair this weekend. That’s pretty much the only thing we’ve done for the house all week 😦 We worked on it so much harder when we weren’t living in it. It seems like we hardly do anything at all now that we’re living here…

Here are some of the movies I’ve seen lately and haven’t written about:

I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011; Sarah Jessica Parker, Greg Kinnear)
SJP’s character, Kate, is a wife, mother of two, and a successful businesswoman. She already has a hectic schedule and her family is beginning to dislike taking a backseat when an amazing project comes up at work. By the end of the film, she realizes what is most important is her family in a very cliche-type revelation. Ya know, you can get another job, but you only have one family!
I found the story interesting–I’d never seen a movie with that exact plot before. But the cliche ending made me feel I’d seen that sort of thing before. I like how she wasn’t portrayed as a cold, heartless bitch as very successful and busy businesswoman are often portrayed–like in Devil Wears Prada. They made her seem real, and I liked that.

Contagion (2011; Kate Winslet, Matt Damon)
This was really gripping!! I found myself at points completely engrossed. Basically this movie is about epidemics in the modern world. One character, returning to Minneapolis from Hong Kong dies of a mysterious disease that she unbeknownst to herself spread. Millions of people die before a vaccine can be found and then produced. I admit, I hardly got scared of the anthrax, bird or swine flus, or H1N1 scares. I guess I didn’t worry because the population density where I live isn’t very high. But this movie did scare me a little. Interesting that they made this movie so close to the doomsday year of 2012, eh? I do admit that this reminded me a lot of Blindness from a few years ago.

The Muppets (2011; Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Kermit the Frog)
I love the Muppets, so this movie was just awesome. I have a bunch of Muppet movies, and I might just have to add this one to my collection. Segel plays Gary, older brother to Walter (a puppet), who loves the Muppets. When Gary plans to take Mary, his longtime girlfriend to L.A. for their tenth anniversary, he takes Walter, too, so he can visit the Muppet Show studio. An oil tycoon plans to tear down the studio and Walter gathers up the Muppets for a reunion to save their old studio. Gary and Walter each find who they are and finally follow their own paths, after decades of being practically inseparable.
There was a lot of cheesy in this movie, but it was intentional and made the somewhat sad parts of the story a bit comical. As with Muppet movies, the Muppets weren’t supposed to be any different from the live actors–this is something I have always loved about the movies. But I wonder how strange it is for the actors :o)

The Adventures of Tintin (2011; Daniel Craig)
I was a little confused by this, to be honest. How old is Tintin supposed to be? He looks to be a boy of 14 or so, but he speaks of having his journalist job. Is it one of those more endearing stories from decades ago in which children and teens became writers because of their amazing adventures? Aside from that, I rather enjoyed the movie. Animated movies aren’t like they used to be, which sometimes I like and other times I don’t. The story was adventurous, like Tintin is a young Indiana Jones 🙂

Young Adult (2011; Charlize Theron)
I have to admit there was not a thing about this movie I liked. I’m not saying it was bad, but it definitely wasn’t anything great. I just kept wondering to myself, “What person, ten years removed from high school, wants to create and live in the middle of a bunch of high school drama?” Well, the answer was pretty much a pathetic woman who peaked in high school, only to have her adult life suck. The whole movie focuses on her trying to get back her high school sweetheart, who is married and a new dad. So clear why this was an MTV movie…

The Hunger Games (2012; Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth)
I saw this at midnight, opening day. Harry Potter isn’t coming out and there’s only one more Twilight movie to see at midnight (and Twilights are more just a habit than actually wanting to see them opening night)–so I’m glad I have another set of movies to see at their midnight showings.
For those that don’t really know the synopsis of the first Hunger Games, the series takes place in a future USA, called Panem. The thirteen “districts” (larger regions rather than our current states) send a young man and a young woman every year to participate in the Hunger Games, where only one survives. Having 23 young people die is supposed to show the districts their place, ever since the districts rebelled in a civil war against the Capital. Reminds the people how gracious the government was to them after they’d done wrong. Anyways, Katniss volunteers to go to the Games when her young sister Prim was chosen. She befriends her male counterpart from District 12, Peeta, even though they are enemies. In the end, Katniss and Peeta display a big act of defiance against the Capital together, which creates the backdrop for the next book, Catching Fire.
There were a lot of things I’d forgotten about the story since I read it last summer. For the most part, stuff wasn’t how I pictured it in my mind. But things often don’t match up to my imagination when it comes to beloved books turned into movies. But just because things don’t look like I imagined them doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. I really liked it, but it was long to watch at midnight–I had to be to work four hours after it ended, which didn’t leave much sleeping time.

Oh, and if we are going the same way as Twilight, I am TEAM GALE 😀

The Big Year (2011; Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, Jack Black)
Wilson plays Bostick, a guy who achieved a record Big Year, seeing as many species of birds in North America in a calendar year. But a couple years latter Stu (Martin) and Brad (Black) try to break his record. The three compete and continually see each other as they attempt to become the greatest birder.
I thought this was pretty funny. I’m a huge fan of Steve Martin and I like the other two, too. There were a couple parts where I laughed out loud, but even now I can’t really remember what they were. It’s not all that boring, as you might think a story about birding would be.

The Seven Year Itch (1955; Marilyn Monroe)
A married, middle-aged man sends his wife and son off to Newark to spend the summer outside of the city (that’s NYC), as apparently every family man does. He’s resolved to be good while he’s on his own: eating right, no drinking, no smoking, and, of course, not spending time with those sexy singles that are still in the city (that one is an unwritten rule). But he discovers a summertime renter above his place is a sexy young woman, unattached. He lets his imagination run away with him, thinking of all the times he could’ve had an affair in the past and imaging his wife coming home to find him out.
I haven’t seen a Marilyn Monroe film, ever. And I don’t recall ever hearing her speak at all. So I was a little surprised by her voice. It could’ve been her character, I suppose, but she sounded like such an airhead. And I thought she would’ve had a sultrier, sexier voice. Other than that, I thought the movie was a little funny. Its 1950s sexism kind of got to me in places. But its obvious ridiculousness in other places reminded me of Paris When it Sizzles (with Audrey Hepburn and William Holden).

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